Open Hearts, Open Minds

Aired 2002-03. After the attack on September 11, 2001, most religious leaders realized they had to increase their efforts at educating people of any particular faith about the respect required toward people of other faiths. In Kansas City, Missouri, the religious community decided that one antidote to the hatred and intolerance, clearly one cause of terrorism, would be an active outreach program to promote interfaith understanding. One such tangible program is the Greater Kansas Interfaith Passport, a document created to provide a resource for people seeking to learn more about other faith traditions. A participant attending another's faith service received a "Visa" – a stamp showing their outreach effort. The local interfaith council, representing 13 faiths, developed this program. Vern Barnet, a Unitarian minister, advanced it and local columnist and Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, a supporter, received the first Passport document. The broadcast featured programs in Georgia, in Washington, and spent time at a reunion, in Kansas, of an interfaith youth summer camp program. Others who appeared on the special included: The Chancellor of the Kansas City Catholic Diocese, George Noonan; and Dr. Syed Hasan, the Director of Applied Environmental Research, University of Missouri; Rabbi Joshua Taub, of the city's Diversity Task Force; Mahnaz Shabbir; Lama Chuck Stamford; Juan Rangel; as well as Diane Hershberger, Executive Director of Kansas City Harmony.